Pungampalli is a small village located in Sathyamangalam region part of the Erode District. Well-known for the famous tiger reserve, Sathyamangalam is host to a diverse ecology with hills, forests and water bodies. The Sungai Lake located in this region is a 66.69 acre large water body that was left untouched for nearly 35 years! With no maintenance in place, the lake had fallen prey to excess silt deposits and a rampant growth of invasive weeds such as Seemai Karuvellam (Prosopis juliflora) that had taken over the entire lake.
Part of the Athikadavu-Avinashi Project, an ambitious water project launched by the Government of Tamil Nadu to ensure water availability and security in the parched regions of the state, the Sungai Lake was taken up for restoration with administrative support from the Government.
The entire lake was deweeded to remove the invasive weed species that had choked the lake’s life.
Excess silt deposits found in the lake were excavated to an average depth of 2-3 feet across the lake’s bed, thereby increasing the lake’s storage capacity.
Excavated silt was then used to construct and strengthen the peripheral bunds of the lake. Dual embankments were also constructed to improve the lake’s flood resilience.
Canals were built to reroute and regulate water flow inside the lake. A sedimentary pit and two recharge pits were built to ensure solid waste does not enter the core water zone and to enhance the lake’s groundwater recharge respectively.
A ‘G’-shaped nesting island, a water-drop island, three dump islands and a ஃ (Tamil letter – āyutha eḻuttu or akh) puddles were constructed to provide nesting sites for birds, amphibians and reptiles to thrive in the lake.
The lake was extended to its original boundary in the extreme west corner of the lake by creating a 3-acre large water tank.
Check out how the lake has transformed today!
We thank all the local residents and volunteers who supported us in restoring the Pungampalli Lake.
Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I